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Ted Cohen of WBAI-FM, presents a documentary on the life and music of the German Jewish composer Paul Dessau. Born in Hamburg in 1894 (and eventually dying in East Berlin in 1979), Dessau’s tumultuous life included periods of obscurity, exile and poverty, before his eventual recognition as one of the great politically radical composers of the 20th century. The grandson of a synagogue cantor, he fled Germany in 1933 to live in Paris, where he was introduced to 12-note composition by Rene Leibowitz and Arnold Schoenberg. In 1939 he moved to the United States where he met fellow exile, playwright Bertolt Brecht, and soon became one of Brecht’s prime collaborators. Notable works by the two artists include “Mutter Courage und Ihre Kinder” (”Mother Courage and Her Children”), and “Die Verurteilung des Lukullus” (”The Condemnation of Lucullus”), excerpts of which are included in this program. In his later music, Dessau often used Marxist dialectics as a working method. His opera, “Einstein” is written in numerous styles, including 12-tone passages, aleatoric performance procedures, pop, and jazz elements, and tape sections of awesome force. This program surveys the life of Paul Dessau and includes numerous lengthy examples of his music, much of which was recorded in East Germany.
This audio is part of the collection: Other Minds Audio Archive
It also belongs to collections: stream_only; Music & Arts
Keywords: KPFA-FM; Interview; Music; Theatre; Piano Music; 20th Century Classical
Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0